Rare Gems by Clair Shadwell Smith

For those of you who heard the poetry session Andrew Peterson and I shared at Hutchmoot 2011, this is the poem I read from my Grandfather. It’s long been a favorite of mine and one of the first poems that ever really “got me.” Many people there loved it, including AP. I hope you enjoy it too. -Sam

Rare Gems
by Clair Shadwell Smith

They burned us in the fire,
Your page and mine;
And I was glad.
But still, though curled and charred,
The printing could be read.
Then came the wind
To draw us up its whirling draft
And shatter us to bits.
Together in one airy cloud,
We drifted around the world
And while above
Some far and distant land,
A shower bore us to the ground.
And a child’s small, chubby hand,
On that soft, summer day,
Rolled us into tiny pellets
While at her festal play.

And there for many years we lay,
Baked by the sun,
And polished by the wind.

Then came a wanderer from afar,
Who searched for precious stones;
And sold us in the market place
For food to warm his bones.
Now we adorn the crowns
Of princesses and kings.
And it is said these stones that fell
From out of the sky above,
Are rare because they but reflect
The lights of perfect love.


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